By choosing to favor properties OUTSIDE of, rather than resident-owned properties INSIDE of the Village as the basis for its decision to allow adult-use marijuana facilities, effective Aug 2, Council disrespected its own residents at its June 8 meeting.
Citizens even circulated, and presented to Council, two different types of petitions against the marijuana industry in our small town.
The first petition, a State zoning-amendment protest of “…owners of at least 20% of the area of land included within an area extending outward 100 feet from any point on the boundary of the land included in the proposed change”… was signed by Village resident-owners in fulfillment of the State protest specs. Yet, three of five Council members chose to disregard Village property owners and residents living within 100 feet of industrial-zoned areas proposed for marijuana facilities—and Council favored Oxford Township property owners over us in the Village. Township property owners do not even vote on the issue should it go to a public referendum.
By accepting and using Township, instead of Village zoning for calculations, the Council Three summarily dismissed us residents. The Three dismissed the clear intent of Village voters, and the intent and spirit of the State zoning act enabling us to protest these marijuana businesses so close to our neighborhoods and parks. I applaud Council President Kelsey Cooke and Trustee Lori Bourgeau for standing firm with their representative majority, the petitioners against the marijuana ordinance.
A second, informal petition was signed over one weekend and submitted by a cross-section of 243 Villagers who wanted Council to opt out of the marijuana business due to issues as small-Village space and proximity, current low-crime, family-friendly identity of our community and opt-in lawsuits in other municipalities etc. Of all residents visited in various areas, 85% signed the petition against opting in at this time; yet, sadly, Council Three deemed us irrelevant by their vote.
We, the people of the Village, should decide by vote if we want such businesses here. That’s fair and just, not underhanded. In the meantime, I am sure the 15% token minority are happy!
Evelyn Archer, Oxford Village